One-Minute Interview

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Tapping into available student summertime labor is one common way to relieve a remodeler’s workload, in the office or the field.

September 05, 2000

Tapping into available student summertime labor is one common way to relieve a remodeler’s workload, in the office or the field. Michael Menn, partner at Design + Construction Concepts in Northbrook, Ill., used a student intern, Jenna Staab, for the first time this summer. He offers the following advice for other shorthanded remodelers:

 

Intern Jenna Staab tried many jobs within Michael Menn’s remodeling business.

 

What did the intern you hired do at your ofice?

She has done everything from go out to job sites to take measurements and photos, to attending client meetings, to preparing design work, to creating construction documents. If the summer had been longer, we would have had her out in the field, too.

What was the intern’s greatest value to you?

Remodeling is an ever-evolving business. She brought her insight, and she looked at our processes differently. She may have been the youngest member of our team, but she brought in a different perspective, pointing out things we don’t see.

How will you manage without an intern in the office during the fall?

We hired a full-time employee. He’s going to be a CAD operator. We’d been thinking about hiring a new employee for a while, and the intern showed us that we really do need a full-time person. We actually made the intern an offer, but she chose to go back to school for her master’s degree.

Will you continue to use summer labor in the future?

As long as the economy stays up, I have no doubt that we will. It’s a long-term investment in our industry. Each and every owner or manager needs to take the time to nourish and cultivate [remodelers] at the first step or entry level. It’s our responsibility.

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